No. 1 ‘place to live’… but all the young people are leaving and the population is shrinking

Jeju Island, which used to attract more than 10,000 people a year due to the migration fever, now has to worry about a declining population. The population has been declining in all but one month of the year, mainly among young people.

According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on May 5, the number of registered residents (excluding foreigners) on Jeju Island was 670,057, down 58 from the previous month.

Jeju’s population, which has been declining since December last year 안전놀이터(-214), dropped by 666 in January, 403 in February, and 59 in March. It seemed to turn around with a net influx of 84 people in April, but it turned negative again last month. As a result, Jeju’s resident population dropped by 1102 people in five months from 678,159 in December last year.

Until now, Jeju has seen a steep rise in population due to migration fever.

However, after peaking at 14,632 net immigrants in 2016, the number of net immigrants has been declining every year to 8853 in 2018, 3378 in 2020, and 3148 last year.

This year, the number of people aged 50 and over increased, while the number of people aged 40 and under decreased. A total of 5045 people, including 1457 under the age of 9, 422 in their teens, 1723 in their 20s, 757 in their 30s, and 686 in their 40s, left Jeju, while 3943 people, including 595 in their 50s, 2378 in their 60s, 370 in their 70s, 290 in their 80s, and 310 in their 90s and older, increased.

As of last year, the number of births in Jeju was 3,600, while the number of deaths reached 4,800, and the dead crossing phenomenon is also intensifying every year.

In this regard, Jeju Island announced last month that it will invest 20.75 billion won to implement four strategies and 66 detailed tasks centered on responding to the declining birthrate, expanding the economically active population, preparing for an aging society, and fostering local communities.

In the announcement, Jeju Island set its goals for 2026 as “restoring the total fertility rate to 1.3 or more (0.92 as of 2022) and reaching 500,000 people of working age between 15 and 64 (490,894 as of 2022)”.

In addition, the number of detailed population policy projects was reduced from 148 to 66 (29 new projects) this year.

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